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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by plutonic, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. plutonic

    plutonic New Friend

    Sep 6, 2011
    I have never learned any musical instrument before and never learned to read sheet music. My city doesn't have any trumpet instructors and I've finished school so it's too late to enroll in a music class at school to learn. Basically my only options are to teach myself or do online lessons via Skype with instructors internationally.

    I honestly have no idea what to do first. I have a trumpet coming in the mail and I've looked at a few videos on Youtube about embouchure, but that's the extent of it. Where exactly do I start?

    Should I start with a few online Skype lessons? Videos on Youtube? Or just get a book and try and get the basics down before I pay for lessons? Should I learn how to read sheet music before I start learning the trumpet or will that develop naturally as I play? I've never really known anyone that plays an instrument, so I really have absolutely no idea what I'm doing to begin with.
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Nick Drozdoff is an excellent trumpet player and fine instructor.

    I think he still does Skype lessons.

    Here is his website:
    Nick Drozdoff: Home
  3. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Depends on what you ultimately want to do and how much $$ you have. If you want to have fun mostly and do semi-serious gigs with friends, I don't see anything wrong with not worrying so much about learning to read music. That's kinda extreme but so what...Paul McCartney didn't know how to read music.

    More likely, you'd better learn to read music. Unless you're loaded, I'd say you can learn that by yourself, no sense wasting $50 an hour for that. Same with the basics...get a super simple beginning band book like they use in schools. Work through that a bit. It'll have the basics in it about embouchere, etc. Do youtube, etc. THEN after you know you're in it to stay, maybe take a couple lessons to make sure you're on the right track. At that point you'll probably be in a good position to determine for yourself if a teacher (online or otherwise) is worth it.

    The main thing is don't get too discouraged early on. Trumpet's no piano, where all you have to do is bang on the keys to get sounds out. It's no woodwind instrument either where getting a pretty good sound is relatively simple. It's gonna take lots of work just to start getting reasonable sounds out. (But that's the fun!)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Good advice already given.

    If you decide to go with a face-to-face instructor, here are a couple ideas. Ask the music teacher at your local high school, middle school, or elementary school. He/she usually has a list of trumpet teachers in the area. Another idea is to stop by your local Music and Arts (Music & Arts: Largest retail music chain of band and orchestra instruments.) or any other music store that sells band instruments. Some of these stores provide lessons in-house. Others will have a list of trumpet teachers in the area.

    Have fun.
  6. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    Go to your nearest high school and ask the local band director for advice about the local scene. Maybe you can get some beginner lessons from one of his advanced students?
    There may also be a community college with a band open to the public. Churches may also have a band...

    A $100 electronic keyboard (like a Yamaha or Casio) would be a good addition to your musical training.

    Get a church hymnal and learn to play those tunes!
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Usually somewhere in the earliest elementary schools as we sang songs, we were given the ditties of Every Good Boy Does Fine or EGBDF to depict the lines of the treble clef and FACE to depict the spaces. Alternating line and space we then have EFGABCDEF. This is the staff (lines and spaces together) range of a trumpet that extends some above and some below it. Now I could add the first space above the treble clef as is a G. Yes, A thru G are the only seven alphabetical letter notes in all of music as repeat themselves higher amd lower. Such should be easier than learning the English alphabet. Such is the beginning element of reading music.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    This memory trick worked for me...

    The backwards for the sharps!
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    For the circle of 5ths: "Fair Cinderella Goes Down And Eats Bugs."
  10. Drklobz

    Drklobz Pianissimo User

    Jun 15, 2011
    Learning to read music is something you can do on your own, but learning the trumpet on your own is not something I would suggest. If there's no one around for in-person lessons, many people are doing Skype lessons these days. I have more Skype students now then I do in-person because of the convenience and the savings on mileage.

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